Monthly Archives: April 2004

Extremely bad joke warning!

If only Dominic usually travelled on the Paris underground, I could employ him to sit on my new piano and say “tick” at set intervals.

I could do with a new metro-gnome! 😀

The Shifty Gnome taught me how to do this – isn’t it good?


Well, that was a good day. Loads of efficient cleaning and tidying with the cleaner so the place looks a lot more palatial. Someone quick, tell the Queen to come round tonight before it gets all messy again. Did a load of ironing, too, and got all our clothes ready for the weekend… and without sumitting to the temptation to leave it all on one side and play my piano. Did I mention I have a piano now?

Smudgelet lost a tooth the day before yesterday. We decided to fool the tooth fairy and pretend it was still in his mouth so we could look at it under the microscope yesterday. Not that that was very successful. I promised we’d get the proper microscope out of the sideboard today and try again, but forgot that there’s one small problem with that plan. Access to the sideboard is somewhat limited as I’ve stood the organ in front of it to make room for my piano. We decided to give in and wait to examine his next tooth, but of course everyone forgot tonight to put the tooth out for the tooth fairy. I wonder if she’d mind waiting until next Sunday night, or whether we should take it with us to London. I’m not sure how these things work.

This evening was good. Our Social Services has excellent post-adoption care and they have decided to set up a proper support group, with financial backing from Social Services. The group I already belong to is brilliant, but meeting up tends to be rather haphazard. This new one will be bigger, and with childcare and a venue paid for … even some treats paid for too! Access to books and videos and speakers, a three-monthly newsletter, a register of fellow adopters and much much more. Reassuring to know both that there are families where all’s running smoothly AND families who have a much much tougher time of it than we do. But, most of all, reassuring to know that Social Services, and indeed the government, are properly aware of the support we need as adoptive parents and are willing to give it. We’ve arranged a series of get-togethers, some adults only and some to help the children to get to know one another.

The only bad news from the social worker is that a birth family member wants to resume contact. I think I shall have to say no, but it’s a nightmare doing that. Will he hold it against me in later life that I prevented face-to-face contact? Is my gut reaction that it would be a bad thing really prompted by thinking what’s best for him, as I think it is, or is it a selfish reaction about not wanting to share him or deal with the ensuing hassle. I think I shall just have to trust to the love between us that, even if it does come between us for a while, ultimately he will see that I acted in his interest and will return to me. This is always my prayer.

Now, will I be able to sleep or will I be too excited about London? Hmmm… no, on consideration, I don’t think I will have the slightest difficulty sleeping!!! The arrangements seem to be all made, things are falling into place, and now all we have to do is get there. To London, I mean, not to bed. But getting to bed is my first priority, so I shall click on “save” and bid goodnight.

One more step

*** *** I have got a piano *** ***

I realise, on reminder from a critic, that I have been very remiss in lacking to inform you about the final bomb.
Yes, I no longer feel obliged to fill my bath with strange debris as I have finally used the last of my winnings from the church Christmas Fair. The last bath bomb was exploded a couple of days ago.

This one was the proverbial rose petal one, the one I had been expecting all along. By now I was becoming accustomed to strange things in the water and rose petals did seem to be one step up from seaweed… unpleasant, but not unbearable. I relaxed and pondered the madness of individuals paying about £2 a time for these concoctions. (Yes, I had a nosey at the Lush website). I then leapt to my feet in horror as a huge spider settled on my shoulder! Bleugh! Its legs gripped and it was hard to remove. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or not when I discovered it was a brown and soggy rosehead clinging to my skin. Needless to say, it flew across the room.

Yesterday was somewhat dominated by a certain new acquisition. I think the piano was played more yesterday than it has been in years. It’s amazing how patronising a child sounds, saying exactly the same things as you said to him about his keyboard practice – “That sounded very nice, Mum. The middle bit wasn’t quite right, was it, but the rest was very good. Well done.” Hmmmm…..

My one excursion into the outside piano-less world was to visit my counsellor. It was supposed to be the second-to-last visit, but we both decided that it was really the last. I have made several momentous decisions, and we were mutually complimentary as I thanked her for helping me make them. One of the hardest things about being single in charge of a family is that you have nobody to share in the decision making. Debbie didn’t share in making those decisions, she just reflected back what I was thinking, so I shared it with myself.. but she was invaluable in that. I shall miss her. We agreed that we would meet up for the final session at some point in the future. An unfixed point. Sometime, never… maybe for counselling, hopefully just for cream cakes and a natter.
Things she’s taught me: never say never, to begin to tell the difference between sharing a load and shouldering another’s burden, that it’s OK and right to be good to myself and that God loves to see me smile, that although there’s a lot in life that can’t be changed there are choices to make along the way. And that I do have that emergency ration box of God-given strength which will help me through the tougher times.

Meanwhile, I’d better get packing… London awaits. And the weather is just right for a trip to London too – rain, rain and more rain. Now, my waiting bath looks rather empty – I’ll just nip out and raid the organics bin for some old apple cores and banana skins to float in there.

Have I mentioned yet…..?

I have a new piano! It’s wonderful. I am in love.
I have played and played until I could play no more.

Dad doesn’t give compliments. But he paid me a real compliment after I’d fudged my way rather well through the Moonlight Sonata, (bearing in mind I haven’t really played a piano for fourteen years). I’d been taught in my childhood by a piano teacher in return for my dad teaching her to drive – or rather, taking her out for driving practice to save her relationship with her husband! Dad asked if I’d had any lessons since, or whether I’d just taught myself after finishing with Edith. When he heard it was the latter, he said “It was a jolly good investment, then, those driving lessons.”

My counsellor had asked me where “I” was in all the bustle that’s my life. This morning I found the answer.

Today, today

The piano is coming today!
Am I excited?
Can you tell?

I dreamed about it last night. The strangest dream, as I was camping with the school. My old school – the one where I used to take the children to camp in the summer – not my current one. We were camped out in a muddy field in the middle of nowhere in the most immense tents, whole year-groups of children in each tent, teachers included… and with bits of furniture to divide up the sleeping area. The removal men had to carry the piano across the field and negotiate the tent to get the piano to the farthest corner which was my sleeping area, and then get the thing to balance on the muddy floor without it sinking in. They then promptly charged me £77 instead of £45 for having to carry it under such difficult circumstances, including the children having to move the trapeze out of the way (because the tent was actually a circus big top) and I argued that it should be less because the piano was smaller than the average piano so it could have been worse. When they’d left, I realised that I would still somehow have to get the piano home once the camp was over.

Now the worrying thing is that I am seeing my counsellor this afternoon. I wonder what she’d make of that! Perhaps I’d better clear the mud off the lounge floor, evict all the children who are sleeping in there and do something about that bloomin’ trapeze!

Last try

Yippee! As the rightful owner of a Blue Monkey Popper courtesy of Mr Kellogg (read it and weep, Smudgelets!) I was convinced Maddie had been framed. We teachers don’t indulge in such underhand tactics.

Thank you Dave for the advice and Rhys for the administrative dealings with my autolinks thus creating freedom of spee.. er typing.

Birds and bees?

Now, why am I sitting here typing on the computer, eating Green and Blacks and watching Diagnosis Murder when I could be busy cleaning the lounge floor in anticipation of the arrival tomorrow of my new piano? I seem to have achieved very little today. Now isn’t that unusual. Apart from walking to the chemist’s to retrieve my overdue tablets – the ones which prevent me turning red and itchy at every touch, so I walked quite quickly actually. Oh, and walking up to the post office to get Dad’s road tax disc and post my "not guilty" plea to the court. Hope this doesn’t mean I’ll have to attend. I could do without a trip to the Midlands midweek as soon as I’ve started back to school! I suppose I’ll have to reform and become a law-abiding citizen.

Conversation with Smudgelet yesterday while looking at a cherry tree:

S: we’ve got some new cherry trees, haven’t we mummy?
M: No, those are strawberry plants.
S: Do strawberries grow on strawberry plants, Mummy?
M Oh no, my love. They grow on cherry trees. Cherries grow on strawberry plants.
S: Hmmm… are you sure? Where do blackberries grow?
M: On apple trees, of course, and apples grow on peach trees.
S: Are you really sure, Mummy?
M: And do you know what grows under gooseberry bushes?
S: No?
M: Babies

Incredulous look from my youngest son followed by a rather puzzled interrogation as to whether I was completely sure or whether I was teasing him. The receptionist at the doctor’s where we were at the time asked him whether he doubted me and he said that he wasn’t questioning what I said, it was just that….

"I thought they grew in a mummy’s womb and came out through her willy, I mean her vagina! "

Then came the further interrogation "You’ve got two children. Does that mean you used to be married?" Gosh, talk yourself out of that one, Smudgie!

This is the child who has a plan for the visit of the Queen to the Island next month. It’s the day after his birthday, and he’s decided to write to her and invite her round for a slice of birthday cake (I really ought to tidy up!) in the hope that she’ll bring him a present. He did want me to ring directory enquiries and find out her phone number, mind, as it’d be so much easier than having to write. He’s quite indignant that she’s actually coming to our village while he’s at school. Actually, thinking about it, I shall be at school as well. Still, maybe we’ll get to wave to here when we go to her house on Sunday.